Juilliard String Quartet :
Shostakovich Three String Quartets
The Juilliard String Quartet
CELEBRATES ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY
WITH ALL-NEW RECORDINGS OF
THREE STRING QUARTETS OF
SONY CLASSICAL 2-CD SET INCLUDES:
SHOSTAKOVICH PIANO QUINTET
WITH YEFIM BRONFMAN
Juilliard String Quartet Touring U.S. Throughout the 2006-07 SeasonOne of the most influential ensembles in contemporary American music, the Juilliard String Quartet celebrates its 60th anniversary with a new Sony Classical recording of three string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich – No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73; No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 142; and No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144. For this new release – which also honors the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth – these new performances are coupled with the Juilliard's acclaimed 1999 recording of Shostakovich's Quintet for Piano and Strings in G Minor, Op. 57, with pianist Yefim Bronfman. This specially priced two-CD set will be in stores October 11.
The new recording renews the Juilliard String Quartet's long and distinguished association with Sony Classical that began in 1949, when the label was known as Columbia Masterworks. Founded three years earlier at New York's Juilliard School of Music, the quartet continues as Quartet in Residence at Juilliard – which is also celebrating its centenary in 2006. They were also Quartet in Residence for 40 years at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Since 1997, the quartet's members have been Joel Smirnoff and Ronald Copes, violin; Samuel Rhodes, viola; and Joel Krosnick, cello. Its catalogue of more than 100 recordings has won four Grammy Awards and, in 1986, earned the quartet a place in the Hall of Fame of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
During the current concert season, the Juilliard String Quartet will be performing throughout the Unites States. Its schedule includes concerts in Concord MA on October 8; Dallas on October 22-23; New York (at Washington Irving High School) on October 28; Philadelphia on October 29; New York (Alice Tully Hall) on November 8 & 10; Tempe AZ (at Arizona State University on November 16 & January 24, 2007; Houston on January 26 & 29, 2007; the University of Tennessee (February 12, 2007); and New York (Alice Tully Hall) on March 1, 2007.
The decision to record three of Shostakovich's fifteen quartets, which are among his very finest works, reflects the Juilliard String Quartet's strong connection with the music of its time. In fact, the earliest of the quartets – No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73 – had its premiere the same year the Juilliard was formed. The other two were written in the early 1970s, shortly before Shostakovich's death in 1975.
The Juilliard has an all-inclusive repertoire of over 500 works, premiering more than 60 compositions by American composers. In addition, its enduring advocacy of the chamber music of Bart?k, Carter, Ives, Jan?ček and Schoenberg has helped cement their place in the modern repertoire. The quartet is also broadly admired for its influence on string players worldwide, and continues to take an interest in the formation of new American quartets, among them the Alexander, Colorado, Emerson, New World and Lark. As the Los Angeles Times wrote, "The Juilliard String Quartet remains the standard by which all other quartets must be judged." The Chicago Tribune has written of the players, "Each of the four has a notably beautiful tone, a sound that sings out but also blends. They show a shared understanding of the music they play; every bow stroke adds to its meaning and integrity.